Thursday, October 13, 2016
The Disappointments Room
* spoilers *
Dana, David, and their son Lucas want a fresh start and move to an old, run down house with lots of potential in the country. Dana lost a child almost a year ago and just picked up the pieces from the loss. As an architect, she's set on returning the house to its former glory, but she finds a room not included in the plans that compels her to find a way inside. The horrors found inside turn her life upside down.
The Disappointments Room is as awkward and disappointing as its title. The set up is typical. I swear I've seen hundreds of films with the same premise. However, the characters aren't. David and Lucas are delightful people who walk on eggshells around Dana so as not to upset her. Dana is an insufferable person who doesn't deserve such a lovely family. When Lucas finds the most adorable cat ever in his room, she doesn't want him to have it for no reason at all. She seems dissatisfied with her life and treats everyone like crap. It's terribly tragic that she lost a child, but her behavior isn't excused. So many of her actions are unforgivable. On the anniversary of her daughter's death, she gets shitfaced drunk, drives to the dinner party she put together, and then verbally and physically abuses her husband and their friends. Then at the end of the film, she almost kills her son in the only shocking scene in the whole film if only the child had actually been killed. Instead of getting help or taking this threat of violence seriously, the family simply moves back to the city as if that fixes anything.
The plot had a lot of promise. The disappointments room was where imperfect children of the rich were kept int the Victorian era because it was shameful to have what they called aberrant or deformed children. The basic concept is interesting and not something I've really heard of before. Unfortunately, the film doesn't really know what it wants to be. The ghost story is there (not very well done), but Dana is clearly going through some sort of mental break. Loose ends are left. Dana is close to having an affair with a sexy handyman, but he's killed by a ghost. Even though the community is super close knit, somehow no one notices his death even though it's well known that he's helping with construction. A local historian puts together the supernatural event with some past newspaper headlines, but this scene has no payoff whatsoever. So many plot lines are just left dangling.
The Disappointments Room is predictably a disappointment. It runs way too long, leaves too many plot lines without resolution, and features a horrible protagonist that I ended up feeling no sympathy for. As far as I can tell, Lucas was only in danger from his mother the entire time. It comes off as a confused mess that wasn't scary or suspenseful.
My rating: 1/5 fishmuffins